Monday, February 4, 2013

When Good Flooring Goes Bad

At the start with the carpet still in.
This month's big project was supposed to be putting new flooring in the den. Well, it turned into a much bigger project than it was supposed to be. It has turned into chaos and has taken over most of the living space in our house.

Tearing out the old carpet.
Saturday started with us emptying the den of all he bookcases and furniture. Then AJ started ripping up the carpet and sealing the concrete. These were the same steps as the bedroom. Then we started putting down the flooring. AJ got a few rows down, but something wasn't right. He started looking at the flooring and it was bowed. Crud!

We pulled up what was down and called it a night. We took that batch back to Ikea. It sounded like they had had problems with this batch because they returned it no problems. We dug through what was at he store and found he least bowed batches. We came home and started again.

The self leveling concrete phase.

The new batch wasn't working any better. We threw the level on the floor and started to realize the floor wasn't level. Ok. We knew that a little because it is a former carport. We decided to get some self leveling concrete to try to fix it. AJ's little sister came over and helped with pouring the concrete. They got it poured and we went to bed and let it dry overnight.

I woke up Monday morning and realized that it didn't work. Even though AJ had floated the concrete it was a mess. I could see the lines and divets in the concrete. I pulled out the level and worked my way around he room with it. There were places that were 3 inches lower or higher than other places. The self leveling concrete helped the situation some, but we would have had to pour it about 4 inches thick to fix all the unevenness.

Time to add shims and build a subfloor.
Next plan time. We decided that we needed to just give in and build a subfloor over the concrete. This has at least the advantage of bringing the den level with he living room and getting rid of the awkward step down. The other plus is that we can Make sure where the bookcases are going back in is nice and level and sured up really well (we have a lot of books). The problem is that it is tedious. AJ had to shim every single stud and get each one level across the whole board. There were some spots in the floor that were 4 inches out of level. To shim those crazy places up, AJ had to cut 1x2s and make his own shims because pre-cut ones don't come that thick.

Starting the shimming phase.

All those little cross pieces are shims.
He finally got all the studs shimmed and glue down. Next came the actual subfloor. He used OSB and nailed it down really well. The OSB went down much faster and smoother than the studs.

Sub floor time!
Finally we got to the under lament foam and putting down the laminate. AJ got it down in record time. Then we got the fun task of moving all the bookcases, books, and furniture back into the room. It looks awesome. We have it set up so that we can play board games or do puzzles on a high top table, read books in a cozy chair, or snuggle up and watch movies. I wish I had a better picture of the whole room, and I will soon, but the reason I can't is a story for another day.

The new library!
I will admit on his project AJ has done 99% of the work. I have contained Drew and kept the house running (aka cooking). I have also worked on a few things on my project list. I got my craft room back in order from Christmas and cleaned out boxes left from the move. I started working on our taxes, and I got all the leaves raked in the front yard.

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